It’s hard to gauge how successful any given commercial is. Do you look at longevity? Brand awareness? Increase in brand popularity? Perhaps it’s a combination of these factors. And that still ignores the key point of commercials: sales figures.
In a way, they can seem pointless. We’ve all heard of Nike and McDonald’s so why would they pay big bucks for commercials? But ads are often less about convincing you to buy it at that very moment, and more about embedding the brand in your psyche. Establishing themselves within your personal zeitgeist.
It’s when companies try to exploit this that we see some truly bizarre commercials. Some are shocking and end up getting banned for their troubles, others run with off the wall concepts and end up being mini icons of their time. Celebrity involvement often adds something special, especially if they’re a little out of character. And some are just seriously weird misfires.
Whether these adverts were successful or not could be debated. Most are pretty memorable, though some are for the wrong reasons entirely. One thing’s for sure: These ten commercials are certainly bizarre.
10. Boddingtons - Cream Of Manchester
When it comes to bizarre commercials, the entire top ten could be made up of perfume ads. A whole host of celebrities are in the fragrance selling business, whether it’s Natalie Portman angrily jumping off a pier, Charlize Theron throwing away her clothes or Chris Evans and Evan Rachel Wood in a flaming car.
Boddingtons is very similar, using British TV personality Melanie Sykes and a load of half naked, sculpted men for set dressing. It’s all shot in an artistic black and white too. There’s just one difference: Boddingtons isn’t a perfume. It’s a lager.
All the usual pretentiousness of a perfume advert is usually forgiven. It’s hard to sell something like smell through a visual medium. But Boddingtons mocks the over the top theatrics brilliantly. And Sykes, while she’s as glamorous as Theron and Portman, easily cuts through the pompous tone with her gloriously thick Mancunian accent.
If that’s not enough, the underlying concept isn’t just to mock perfume. Take that angle out and they’ve still got a pretty good sales pitch, comparing Boddingtons and its thick, frothy head to ice cream. It is the Cream Of Manchester, after all.